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Friday, January 30, 2009

How To Spot A Cylon

Up and coming Colonials might want to check out this handy poster which gives friendly and handy tips to spotting a Cylon:


    Do they ask questions about classified subjects?

    Do they seem unusually strong, smart or self-assured?

    Do they say God instead of Gods?

    Have you seen them before, but you know it's not the same person?

    Do you see them hanging around secured or restricted areas?

    Do they seem to hear music that no one else can hear?

    Do they seem unusually fearless, as if death has no meaning for them?

    Do they exhibit sociopathic behavior around other humans, especially defenseless children?

    Are they unusually adept, almost empathic, with machines?

    Does their spine glow red when they get... excited?

TV Watch: Battlestar Galactica Catch Up

I think Saul said it best when he quipped if it would be handy to have a chart. A recap of the show's events up to this point is like a Greek tragedy meets space opera which, at the very least, fits the show's basic themes.

Spoilers abound here, obviously.

I referred to the "final Cylon hunt" as something of a reverse murder mystery, where where it is more like hunting for a body than a killer. The resolution proved just as that would pan - a sea of red herrings before you find the real fish. Was it Baltus, with his seeming Cylon-like visions? Or Kara who certainly seemed to have visited a resurrection ship? Or an important background character like Dee?

Nope, it was Saul's wife? Don't even really know what we should do with that. It feels a little anti-climatic to me, and I can only hope the writers will make it work in the end.

The real open question, I think, is what the hell is Kara? Not a Cylon, but ... dead? She's a zombie? I'm also a bit confused on the whole "Cylon Earth" angle. It was a whole planet populated by clones of twelve people? Or was that just the models that survived to resurrect in space?

I think I get where they're going though. Cylons, humans - just sides of a coin which have been destroying each other, fleeing, repopulating, destroying, repeating history for thousands of years. Betting the "unknown Cylon helmet" turns out to be something human and that there are others Earths out there as well.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

For Sunday: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead

Thanks, Corvus:

TV Watch: Lost, "Jughead"

I rather liked this episode - it managed to make sense of itself despite all the wacky time travel stuff, moved the plot forward and gave us some decent character moments. Faraday is possibly my favorite character at this point, so I'm sure that didn't hurt either.

I had previously thought that Locke was inadvertently controlling the time skips, but that may have just been from how the last couple of episodes were framed. It may well be just like Faraday's analogy - Ben caused something with the island to stop working correctly when he moved the Frozen Donkey Wheel and there will be no rhyme or reason to it.

Although, that feels odd for an island which seems to be able to control just about anything. It seems like everything that is happening is still "fate" as Locke sees it, just displaced in time. So him running into Richard sets the events in order for him to become leader, etc.

There's a theory going around that the grey haired lady who is somehow tracking the island's movements is Faraday's mom. If so, we can see how Desmond could easily get roped back into Ben's plan and back on the island. Somehow I see Penelope as a single mom in about three episodes or so...

Can't tell if I'm more or less confused about The Others now. Did Richard used to be in Ben's shoes? Is that why he doesn't age? Dollars to donuts we find out that he was on the Black Rock when it shipwrecked. It's weird though, because DHARMA and the others seem like they're intertwined. Was Ben's mass murder just the climax of a civil war? Or was DHARMA an interloper like the US military and Ben just took over after? Trying to get my head around why these Others Mark I (Richard's) are trained the same as Juliet. Maybe the story is always about the defenders (Others) and some set of invaders (Losties, military, DHARMA, Widmore's crew).

Curious that Richard doesn't seem to have the same plan as Ben, with lists and who is good and bad, etc. Locke certainly seems like he got the short end of the documentation stick, jobwise. Leader of the Others and there's manual?

Anyway, good episode. Now I'll have to watch everything, however, thinking "there's an H-Bomb buried somewhere around there..."

Test Your FEAR

Eurogamers who want to be part of the join the Dead Echo squad for the FEAR 2 live event should head over to for registration, while everyone can try out their skills at some aptitude tests and see a bit more of the game over at /

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Game Anticipation: Feb, March 2009

I had thought that once I weaned myself off Fallout 3, I may not have much to do for like the rest of the year. Actually, February is looking pretty swank, especially for the PlayStation 3, and March not so bad itself...

F.E.A.R. 2 (Feb 10th)
The demo more or less sold me on it, this will either be a purchase of GameFly depending on the game's length and multiplayer reviews. I actually quite liked the online play of the original's PC version, so my expectations are pretty high.

Flower (Feb 12th)
More curious than anything else, but if the reviews are to be believed - this is will be a must download from PSN. flOw is still a pretty popular game here at the pad, and I'm hoping for more of the same.

Noby Noby Boy (Feb 19th)
Same as above - I know very little about this game other than how much I loved Katamari and how hard it was to explain that game without just playing it.

Godfather II (Feb 24th)
Grand Theft Auto with strategy elements? Yes, please.

Killzone 2 (Feb 27th)
Honestly I feel I should play Resistance 2 before committing to this title, as I think R2 got a bad deal from a very poorly handled demo and bad visibility with the holiday season. Still, I quite liked the original, even though I'm a bit afraid that the sequel will fall under the same "good title despite the hype" problem.

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (Mar 3rd)
I once joked that some Unreal modders could take the basics of Duke Nukem, create a similar beefcake main character and get a decent game out before Duke Nukem Forever. Well, it's not from a mod team - but we have Matt Hazard pulling off basically the same stunt.

Resident Evil 5 (Mar 13th)
Does it really need an explanation?

Sacred 2 (Mar 24th)
I really can't wait for this game, actually - I've been wanting a decent Diablo-esque coop for the PS3 since I've gotten it. Granted, I haven't tried Untold Legends yet, but let's hope Sacred can vault over that mediocre standard.

On the Wii, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was interested to see how Onechanbara - I mean, c'mon. Bikinis. Zombies. Could they add beer and bacon? Echoes of Time of time comes out the same time as Sacred 2, so I guess if the western coop RPG fails me, I have the Japanese one to comfort?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For Sunday: Chen Shows Off Flower

Flower game demo from Dean Takahashi on Vimeo.

From Dean Takahashi's preview, the game is apparently a work of art and really showcases the technical prowess of the Cell setup.

Fallout 3's DLC

Operation Anchorage is hitting the streets, but not being a PC/360 owner - it's not entirely relevant to me. As I said before, though, I'm still playing the main game ... so why do I care?

Apparently this add on works by having players pick up a new signal to find the missions. Which feels a little off to me. If I just paid for new content - should I really have to hunt the wasteland looking for it? I'm probably misreading things, maybe the DLC tells you to head off to the northwest area or something.

Finally - an upcoming DLC will raise the level cap. Before I hit level 20, I didn't think about that much. Now that I'm bouncing around the DC area, blowing off the heads of pretty much everything around me - I must ask, why? Do I need ten more levels to raise what ... my barter skills? Big Guns?

App Store Hijinks, Pricing and More

Following up on a round of App Store related reading, the story of a developer making a 'ringtone' app and making cash off it is becoming somewhat prevalent.

The App Store is something of a phenomenon, but some of this was somewhat predictable. For one thing, when the iPhone launched, even high end apps seemed to be capped at around $9.99. Now if Sega is going to spend a lot of time and money porting Super Monkey Ball for ten bucks, is something I've been working on going to go for much more than a dollar? Price pressure has been around since the beginning.

Course, that interview makes a very insightful point - there are a lot of people out there that find joke/ringtone apps hilarious and will gladly spend a dollar on them, show their friends who are probably of a similar mindset and, well, we're off to the races. You're not going to get that kind of viral marketing for a business app.

In other words, the ringtone apps are cash cows because they're crap. If they were real apps with real functionality, people would have to think twice about buying them. Even if the developer wants to maintain a "lite" or "free" version, this becomes a harder sell.

And to Sterno's point, if you are in even a moderately crowded field - pricing will be distinctive. Plus, if you charge too much and have any kind of problem with your app - be prepared for the negative responses.

Time permitting, I may release a couple of apps I've been developing outside of work. Mostly just stuff I've written to make the phone easier to use. My asking price? Certainly 99 cents. If it makes some beer money, great. If someone doesn't want to try it because it's not free? I'm not going to starve.